MARGARET SIMONS. Good riddance to Guthrie and Milne. The ABC needs grown-ups in charge (the Guardian 12.11.18)

The most powerful message to emerge from Four Corners’ sad story about the tumult at the top of the ABC is that neither the former chairman Justin Milne nor the former managing director Michelle Guthrie appeared to be friends of the public broadcaster. Continue reading

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Saudis Close to Crown Prince Discussed Killing Other Enemies a Year Before Khashoggi’s Death (New York Times, 11.11.18)

WASHINGTON — Top Saudi intelligence officials close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman asked a small group of businessmen last year about using private companies to assassinate Iranian enemies of the kingdom, according to three people familiar with the discussions. Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

PAUL O’CALLAGHAN. For Caritas Australia, bankrolling the Pacific misses the mark.

At Caritas Australia we have long been in the business of supporting the grassroots development of our Pacific neighbours. Continue reading

Posted in Economy, International Affairs | Leave a comment

IAN McAULEY. Watch for Morrison’s next round of economic impression management.

Before Christmas the Government will produce the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. It’s a fair bet that it will reveal a small cash surplus for this year, giving Morrison an opportunity to brag about the Coalition’s economic expertise. But this will be a distraction from serious deficiencies in Australia’s economic structure. Continue reading

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Bob Carr replies to China critics (Australian Financial Review, 12.11.18)

That the mob always gets it right is cornerstone wisdom of Australian politics, often confirmed by polling that shows the public’s deeply rooted common sense. Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 4 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Poor Malcolm.

Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean people don’t hate you. It sometimes seems that Malcolm Turnbull is being pursued by that old Andy Capp character Joe Btfsplk, who brought bad luck to everyone near him.  Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

RICHARD McGREGOR AND JONATHAN PRYKE. Australia must tread carefully in its Pacific contest with China. (SMH 9.11.2018)

If you want a glimpse into the future of Australia’s relationship with China, with all the elements of competition and co-operation, and tensions and bridge-building, then this week is a good place to start.   Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | Leave a comment

AMANDA MEADE. ‘It was magic’: Kerry O’Brien on ABC bosses, battles and why it’s no bed of lefties (The Guardian)

‘It was magic’: Kerry O’Brien on ABC bosses, battles and why it’s no bed of lefties. 

Continue reading

Posted in Media | 3 Comments

JACK WATERFORD. Let’s hope independents take lead on corruption. (Canberra Times 10.11.2018)

Perhaps the greatest service the House of Representatives’ six independent MPs could do for themselves and the nation over the dying days of this Parliament is to take charge of progress with a federal anti-corruption commission. Good for them – indeed, all six have an excellent chance of being re-elected – and good for the country. They probably won’t have a balance of power over the next government, and anything Labor cooperates in putting on the statute book over the next three months is likely to be stronger than what it would initiate in government.  

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Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

JONATHAN FREEDLAND. US democracy is in crisis. But Trump is only the symptom (the Guardian, 10.11.18)

The talk in the US is of constitutional crisis. It’s been looming for a while, thanks to the Mueller investigation into suspected collusion between the Trump campaign and Kremlin efforts to swing the 2016 election. At some point – perhaps when special counsel Robert Mueller issues a subpoena, demanding Donald Trump answers his questions – a clash was bound to come. But it may already be upon us. Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

MICHAEL MULLINS. The politicisation of remembrance

In Australia there is a highly selective regime of remembrance that chooses to exclude the Frontier Wars that killed large numbers of indigenous Australians, and also the many unsavoury aspects of war such as the mistreatment of women by our ‘heroes’. My view is that communal war remembrance should be more nuanced. It needs to include an element of contrition for the shameful actions, alongside legitimate pride for actions that went towards achieving what must be the greatest degree of global harmony in the history of humankind. Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 2 Comments

KIM WINGEREI. The Turnbull Legacy Hour

Malcolm Turnbull appeared on a special edition of the ABC’s QandA last Thursday. Charming, at times evavise and polite as ever, we didn’t learn much, but is this the end of his political career as he claims, or the beginning of a new chapter? Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 5 Comments

GREG LOCKHART. Armistice and Remembrance Day in Australia

The signing of the armistice at 11 am on 11/11/1918 did not raise great enthusiasm among members of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), because their first thought was for sleep. It then took a year for the battlefield silence to spread across the Empire. Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 1 Comment

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison drives bus over sincerity.

ScoMo’s blue bus is the perfect symbol of the man and his government – a brash, ostentatious cliché, non-functional and completely phony. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

ANTHONY PUN: A Response to Prof John Fitzgerald article “How Bob Carr became China’s Pawn”.

Political debate on  foreign policy between Australia-China  in conjunction with Australia-US relations is an important issue for the 1.2 million Chinese Australian community.  It is also an important issue for Australia  as this  will dictate our future prosperity and leadership role in the Asia Pacific.  It should not be trivialised by name calling and political posturing.  In the current vernacular, we should put “Australia First”. Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

SAMANTHA MAIDEN. ‘You’ll find yourself in tears’: PM empathises with young asylum seekers on Nauru (The New Daily)

Border protection hardliner Scott Morrison has told a Lifeline fundraiser that he cried “on his knees” over the plight of young asylum seekers held on Nauru.

(Yet Scott Morrison has the power to end the suffering of the children on Nauru ,but does not do so.!!.John Menadue) Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

ROHAN FOX, MATTHEW DORNAN. China in the Pacific: Is China engaged in “debt-trap diplomacy”?

Recent media coverage has touted the rise of Chinese aid and lending as a threat to Pacific nations’ sovereignty and to the West’s influence in the Pacific. China, so the narrative goes, is aggressively lending to smaller nations who do not have the capacity to pay back the loans. Some commentators have even described such lending as “debt-trap diplomacy”, implying that lending forms part of an intentional strategy by the Chinese state to pressure Pacific island governments.

This article was published by Development Blog, ANU Crawford School of Public Policy on the 8th of November 2018.  Continue reading

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TONG ZHAO. Why China Is Worried About the End of the INF Treaty.

The U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty reflects Washington’s long-standing concern that the treaty constrained its ability to counter China’s fast-growing missile forces in the Asia Pacific.

This article was published by Carnegie Tsinghua Centre for Global Policy on the 7th of November 2018.  Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Domestic violence is a major threat,not terrorism

In The Conversation on 1November, 2018, Silke Myer said ‘After a deadly month for domestic violence the message doesn’t appear to be getting through’   Repost from  2 November 2018 Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 2 Comments


I’ll go to the Armistice Day service at the Balmain war memorial this November 11 because it will mark the centenary of the end of the Great War and because it will be the end of nearly five years of almost continuous remembrance. While the youthful nation of only 18 years rejoiced with good reason 100 years ago, the end of all the remembrance will be a great relief to many Australians today. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

JERRY ROBERTS Armistice Day thoughts

In 2014 publishers gave us some superb books describing the origins of the First World War including Christopher Clark’s spellbinding The Sleepwalkers.  In the four years between 2014 and 2018 has the world moved towards peaceful coexistence?  Do we learn from history?  You must be joking Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments


A regular collection of links to writings and broadcasts covered in other media. Continue reading

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TREVOR COBBOLD. Australia has one of the most socially segregated schools systems in the world.

A new OECD report shows that Australia has one of the most segregated school systems in the OECD and in the world. It also shows that Australia had the equal largest increase in social segregation in the OECD and the world since 2006. Government education and funding policies are major factors behind the increase in social segregation.  Continue reading

Posted in Education | 2 Comments

BENEDICT COSGROVE. Kicking “Charismatic” to the Curb.

Smart people have long argued among themselves about what language does, and doesn’t do. But pretty much everyone agrees that, if nothing else, language evolves. Words and phrases that were perfectly serviceable for decades, or even centuries, take on fresh meaning or vanish altogether. Fifty years ago, “boss” meant “cool.” A hundred years ago, “fantastic” referred to what existed solely in the imagination. Five hundred years ago, “jumble-gut lane” was slang for a bumpy stretch of road.

This article was published by BLARB on the 7th of November 2018.  Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

QUENTIN DEMPSTER. Mass media power plays and the death of Fairfax

The competition regulator ACCC has now green-lighted the death of Fairfax Media Ltd., the governance entity what has been a foundational influence on public interest journalism in Australia since 1831. Continue reading

Posted in Media | 1 Comment

ISABELLE LANE. ‘Misleading and disingenuous’: Treasurer’s negative gearing claims slammed.

Experts have rubbished Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s claims that a proposed rollback of negative gearing will decimate the property market and send rents soaring.

This article was published by The New Daily on the 8th of November 2018.  Continue reading

Posted in Housing | 1 Comment

ISHAN THAROOR. The party of Trump goes fully far-right (Washington Post, 08.11.18)

In the run-up to Tuesday’s midterms, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) faced mounting condemnation over his openly white-supremacist politics. King has a long record of demonizing minorities, fulminating over the decline of white “civilization” and courting extremists who peddle racist conspiracy theories about the “replacement” of white Europeans by nonwhite immigrants. Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

DOUGLAS NEWTON. For Armistice Day: Lest we forget the realities of the Armistice

Armistice Day dawns. Supposedly, it marks ‘the end of the First World War’. It was not. There was no peace. Wars and civil conflicts continued to rage across Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Middle East. Moreover, the victors cruelly maintained the economic blockade of Germany during the eight-month armistice period. Hundreds of thousands of malnourished Germans perished. And Australia’s Prime Minister Hughes was there in London for the big decisions – worst luck. Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 2 Comments


Lest We Remember traces the history of how Australia was drawn into wars by the British and the Americans, and looks at how poorly the strategies had been thought out and how poorly the troops themselves have been treated.  The hype and hoopla of the centenary of the end of the First World War will be used by the arms manufacturers and the politicians to cover the folly and indeed to perpetuate it. Continue reading

Posted in Tributes | 2 Comments

This warrants a John Clarke memorial award?— ScoMo- the hop on hop off marketing man.

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments